Mar 242014
 

NOTE: This post is part of a continuing series of observations: [ First | << Prev | Next >> ]

The weather confounded me again this weekend, as it was overcast with drizzle when I arrived at the nest site. This makes the third week in a row where we have had beautiful cool sunny weather all week long and then rain on the weekend.

The weather was terrible when we arrived.

The weather was terrible when we arrived.

Weather forecasting is notoriously unreliable, but the last couple of weeks have given me a new appreciation for just how uncertain of an art it is. The weather reports I had checked predicted some rain late Saturday afternoon followed by much rain all day on Sunday.

Based on this forecast we stopped by early Saturday morning hoping that there might be some sunshine before the rain started. Instead, we had rain from the very beginning. And now, as I am writing this post on Sunday afternoon, it is bright and sunny outside. Perfect weather for picture taking!

Despite the weather conditions on Saturday morning we still tried to make the best of the situation. Approaching the nest site in the drizzling rain we discovered that both adult eagles were perched side by side at the top of the transmission tower. The three week old eaglets in the nest were unattended and fully exposed to the rain and weather. The young eagles are growing rapidly and becoming stronger every day, so even though it was cool and wet, the young birds were in no danger.

The nest through a haze of rain and fog.

The nest through a haze of rain and fog.

The adult eagles were spending time near the top of the adjacent tower.

The adult eagles were spending time near the top of the adjacent tower.

The two adult eagles sitting side by side.

The two adult eagles sitting side by side.

Fortunately, we did get a little break in the weather when the rain let up for a short period of time. This gave us the chance we needed to to get the all important confirmation that there are indeed two baby eaglets in the nest again this year!

On several occasions the two young birds became very active in the nest as if they were squabbling and sparring with each other. This at last gave us the opportunity to see both young birds side by side for the first time.

The two young eaglets finally make their appearance.

The two young eaglets finally make their appearance.

Then the scuffling began.

Then the scuffling began.

Eventually, one of the adult birds flew over to the nest tower and appeared to scold the misbehaving youngsters down below. Interestingly, the eaglets behavior did seem to improve as a result!

The adults responded to the ruckus down below by switching towers.

The adults responded to the ruckus down below by switching towers.

Scolding the youngsters.

Scolding the youngsters.

The video below does a nice job of illustrating the weather conditions we were dealing with on Saturday. The noise you hear is not the sound of rain, but instead it is popping and snapping of electricity caused by the wet conditions. Be sure and notice how much quieter it becomes after the rain ceases.

Though we stayed at the nest site for a little over two hours and there was very little change in the situation. When we left the two adults were still stationed at the top of each tower and the two youngster were still active in the nest below. Let’s cross our fingers and hope for some sunshine next weekend!

The situation as we left it—one adult on each tower sitting high above the nest below!

The situation as we left it—one adult on each tower sitting high above the nest below!

NOTE: This post is part of a continuing series of observations: [ First | << Prev | Next >> ]

  4 Responses to “Bald Eagle – Nest: Week Nine Eaglets!”

  1. I’m surprised one of the parents was not shielding the eaglets in the drizzle. Maybe since it was a little warm that they did not need to be incubated?

    • The adults were off the nest for two hours at the very least. The eaglets are growing fast. I think they may already be turning brown… hard to tell for sure in the murky pictures. They are are strong and active and did not seem to be bothered by the weather! You’re right, it was wet but also warm.

  2. This is such a wonderful piece you have done thank you thank you thank you. I’m a future teacher and this will be such great information to share. We are currently doing a piece on prairies and of course the eagle came up. So glad I found your site.

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